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Updates to UA MP Multi-City Award Travel & Award Fee Changes (Post Oct 2016){Archive}

Updates to UA MP Multi-City Award Travel & Award Fee Changes (Post Oct 2016){Archive}

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Old Feb 4, 19, 4:25 am   -   Wikipost
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Last edit by: WineCountryUA
Wiki Link
United's Announcement and FAQ

Kacee's Interpretation

Main Impact Since October 6
  • Fee Changes such as platinum members are subject to various award fees
  • No more free stopover - replaced with Excursionist Perk
  • Agents no longer have the ability to find routings that do not show up on united.com
  • Manually constructing trips using multi-city search results in multiple award fares being charged
  • Changing any segment MIGHT require current availability for all existing Os&Ds in the PNR (as if a brand new booking is made) - YMMV
  • Singapore Airlines segments are priced separately (add-ons)

Useful Links
This is an archive thread, the active thread is Award booking questions/ issues/ routing/ excursionist problems / help
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Old Oct 12, 16, 10:30 am
  #751  
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Originally Posted by PVDtoDEL View Post
Given that the new system also hides the fare basis for awards (it now shows "Dynamic Award Saver Miles Only"), I think the new system is putting the infrastructure in place for the next devaluation, viz. award charts will no longer be published and we will pay whatever the website says the price is.

In retrospect, it's not a surprise. DL is already there...
This sadly seems logical. The writing is on the wall and it will only be a matter of time.
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Old Oct 12, 16, 10:30 am
  #752  
 
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Originally Posted by susiesan View Post
I am seriously considering just purchasing a coach seat to the hub cities to be able to get the J seat Ion the flights I want of a European vacation next October. I need to get to BCN from MCI and return from VCE. There are plenty of J saver award seats on the various TATL flights to/from ORD, EWR, IAH, and IAD but never any saver awards o the domestic UA flights to/from MCI that hook up with the int'l flights.

The other option I may use is instead of transferring in the UR points to United I may transfer to ANA and book through them to get the *A flights I need. The ultimate irony, you can't get award seats on UA flights through their own program but you can through partners. I don't know yet if ANA would require more miles than UA for North America to Europe in J. And I haven't used that plan for 5 years to redeem awards and am not too familiar with it.

Or I may try to use AA or DL by transferring SPG points.
This, of course, is the natural consequence of all this chicanery. Many of us earn a lot of miles through UA co-branded cards, transfer in a large number of miles from transfer partners, and buy miles to round out awards. The new system will kill much of this off as folks will find it too cumbersome and expensive to do this through UAMP and instead book through SQ or NH, and accordingly cancel their co-branded cards, stop buying top-up miles and shift earning to Chase, Amex etc. I know will be doing exactly that.
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Old Oct 12, 16, 10:38 am
  #753  
 
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Originally Posted by PVDtoDEL View Post
Given that the new system also hides the fare basis for awards (it now shows "Dynamic Award Saver Miles Only"), I think the new system is putting the infrastructure in place for the next devaluation, viz. award charts will no longer be published and we will pay whatever the website says the price is.

In retrospect, it's not a surprise. DL is already there...
I was just thinking that this is similar along DL approach to their award routing. Once again, UA copies devaluation of benefits the way DL has.

The sad reality is that everyone travels nowadays and it is relatively cheap; or they have to travel and a company will pay for it. So airlines just don't care much anymore about their loyalty program other than for the ones that truly generate them a lot of money (and lavish miles upon miles on them to compensate for these diluted benefits the rest of the population has to endure).

ETA: Hey MatthewLAX, nice write up on this. Hope all is well.
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Old Oct 12, 16, 11:01 am
  #754  
 
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Originally Posted by PVDtoDEL View Post
Given that the new system also hides the fare basis for awards (it now shows "Dynamic Award Saver Miles Only"), I think the new system is putting the infrastructure in place for the next devaluation, viz. award charts will no longer be published and we will pay whatever the website says the price is.

In retrospect, it's not a surprise. DL is already there...
this... and I repeat the Investor's Day comments by Oscar relative to further/increased "monetization of the MP program"
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Old Oct 12, 16, 11:06 am
  #755  
 
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Originally Posted by AAExPlat View Post
This, of course, is the natural consequence of all this chicanery. Many of us earn a lot of miles through UA co-branded cards, transfer in a large number of miles from transfer partners, and buy miles to round out awards. The new system will kill much of this off as folks will find it too cumbersome and expensive to do this through UAMP and instead book through SQ or NH, and accordingly cancel their co-branded cards, stop buying top-up miles and shift earning to Chase, Amex etc. I know will be doing exactly that.
I think this is exactly what UA is aiming to kill. FTers from a mileage program standpoint are probably quite unprofitable since we know and exploit the various loopholes that exist and maximize miles as much as possible.

The average person who picks up the UAMP Card does so for the 2 Club passes/year and for 50k miles which they promptly redeem for a domestic roundtrip standard award over a holiday. That's who UA wants picking up the card and using it.

Originally Posted by luv2ctheworld View Post
The sad reality is that everyone travels nowadays and it is relatively cheap; or they have to travel and a company will pay for it. So airlines just don't care much anymore about their loyalty program other than for the ones that truly generate them a lot of money (and lavish miles upon miles on them to compensate for these diluted benefits the rest of the population has to endure).

ETA: Hey MatthewLAX, nice write up on this. Hope all is well.
This is key. I think the PQD-driven promos (like the one going on right now) are the way of the future since they can directly calculate the CBA based on their mileage valuation.

I think it's also clear that dynamic pricing doesn't matter that much to the true HVFs since they are earning at such a high rate under the current RDM model.

Also adding my voice to the chorus thanking MatthewLAX!
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Old Oct 12, 16, 11:17 am
  #756  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
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is there still no fee if you make changes/cancel within 24hr from the time of booking an award? not seeing anything on that in the FAQ/fees info on United's site.

I tend to book sometime way far out and then call back within a day to change it to within the close-in fee time..usually avoid the fee that way.
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Old Oct 12, 16, 12:15 pm
  #757  
 
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Originally Posted by RoyMan View Post
is there still no fee if you make changes/cancel within 24hr from the time of booking an award? not seeing anything on that in the FAQ/fees info on United's site.

I tend to book sometime way far out and then call back within a day to change it to within the close-in fee time..usually avoid the fee that way.
Yes, I had no problems with 24 hour change/cancel this morning.
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Old Oct 12, 16, 12:45 pm
  #758  
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Originally Posted by AAExPlat View Post
This, of course, is the natural consequence of all this chicanery. Many of us earn a lot of miles through UA co-branded cards, transfer in a large number of miles from transfer partners, and buy miles to round out awards. The new system will kill much of this off as folks will find it too cumbersome and expensive to do this through UAMP and instead book through SQ or NH, and accordingly cancel their co-branded cards, stop buying top-up miles and shift earning to Chase, Amex etc. I know will be doing exactly that.
Redeeming UR points for 1.5 cents of travel via Chase Sapphire Reserve should put a floor under UA devaluations unless UA doesn't believe UR transfers to UA are profitable. Also, when I redeem UR points directly for travel I don't have to choose UA and I almost certainly won't choose them.
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Old Oct 12, 16, 12:53 pm
  #759  
 
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Originally Posted by MatthewLAX View Post
I've spent (wasted?) the whole day on this, but some of you will be interested to read a potential workaround I found to this:

How to Beat United's Draconian New Routing Restrictions

FT rules require I disclose this is a link to my blog.

Bottom line, the key is to do the best you can online and then call in to add the rest.

There is a serious flaw with the Excursionist Perk I found that may be exploited...
Thanks for the straight forward analysis of the maddening issues we are facing with this change.

I used the link in your article to send an email to Oscar voicing my displeasure with this unannounced change in policy. This is not only aggravating to travelers, it is costing United in hours of Agent, Supervisor, and Ticketing time and salaries. I'm pasting the link from the above article to the United's direct email contacts. More of us should raise our concerns directly to United management. It may not change what has happened but remaining silent or simply voicing our displeasure on blogs is worse.

http://elliott.org/company-contacts/united-airlines/
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Old Oct 12, 16, 2:56 pm
  #760  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
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so, did this essentially kill long layovers or just make long layovers really inconvenient to book?

last year, I booked the following as a RT award, technically EWR-BCN round trip:

EWR-BRU (15 hours)-FCO(stopover, 10 days)-OPO
(Open Jaw) BCN-MUC (20 hours)-EWR.

when I try to book anything similar using the multi-city tool, each intra-Europe flight, including the Open Jaw, is charged cumulatively.

but (just using this past booking as an example) when I ask for a flight from the U.S. to FCO, I'm given the option of booking IAD (I moved)-BRU(15 hours)-FCO for 30k in Y, I just had to scroll to page 3 and use filters to find that flight.

so I put in a multi city of IAD-FCO, FCO-OPO, and BCN-IAD. I was able to get that to price at 60k for a RT in Y, but only a limited number of connections showed (minimizing, not maximizing, the time in BRU or MUC - and nothing was the 23 hour window that I would book for a day in a city).
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Old Oct 12, 16, 4:32 pm
  #761  
 
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Even more limitations

More data points for your consideration.

I booked a one way ticket on a saver award a month ago IAD-NRT-BKK-MEL on ANA in F, TG in F, and TG in C for 130000 miles. This was done on UA's website using a simple one way and selecting this configuration of flights/classes. I changed the ticket a couple of weeks ago on the UA website with no problem, same flights/classes different days, slight change of taxes (40 cent rebate).

I tried to make a similar date change after October 6th and had a number of issues. At first the new menu with the change flights graphic followed by the edit flight button did not show any first class flights or business saver awards. It only showed standard business awards at the higher price and lots of economy without even a tab/column for first class.

I checked a new booking before trying this for the dates and the same flights/classes were available. So, I tried a number of different combinations for the change function using multi segment: IAD-NRT-BKK-MEL, IAD-NRT NRT-MEL, IAD-BKK, BKK-MEL and so on. I found that many options didn't offer the availability in F for the TG NRT-BKK segment or did not show the ANA flight for IAD-NRT. After about 15 minutes of fooling around with the site I finally managed to get the system to reproduce the original flights/classes, but I doubt the average customer would be able to get that result.

Went back and tried a new booking IAD-MEL and these flights/classes still showed available for the date.

Unacceptable - not impressed.

V/r,

-Cyborg

Last edited by cyborg; Oct 12, 16 at 4:39 pm
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Old Oct 12, 16, 4:35 pm
  #762  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
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Wondering what's wrong here:

ORD-PVG X
HGH-TPE X
TPE-ORD I

It should be 35K+80K =115K miles which qualifies Excursionist Perk

However, United.com charges 35K+15k+80k = 130K.

Am I missing something?

Thanks
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Old Oct 12, 16, 4:39 pm
  #763  
 
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Originally Posted by thinthin View Post
Wondering what's wrong here:

ORD-PVG X
HGH-TPE X
TPE-ORD I

It should be 35K+80K =115K miles which qualifies Excursionist Perk

However, United.com charges 35K+15k+80k = 130K.

Am I missing something?

Thanks
If you price the whole thing in X or I does the ExPerk come up as 0 miles? I've been having issues with the perk when it comes to mixed itineraries so far.
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Old Oct 12, 16, 5:07 pm
  #764  
 
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Wow, this sucks. So United just killed the free stop-over if I understand correctly. I was planning on booking a NYC>PRG(Stop)>NRT and NRT>NYC, but now it looks like that will cost 50% more than before. Thanks United. Nothing but awful devaluation after devaluation year after year.

Last edited by kmzandrew; Oct 12, 16 at 5:17 pm
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Old Oct 12, 16, 5:26 pm
  #765  
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Originally Posted by kmzandrew View Post
Wow, this sucks. So United just killed the free stop-over if I understand correctly. I was planning on booking a NYC>PRG(Stop)>NRT and NRT>NYC, but now it looks like that will cost 50% more than before. Thanks United. Nothing but awful devaluation after devaluation year after year.
They killed the free stopover in Japan when headed anywhere else in Asia, because Japan is its own region.
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